Tango Takes Two: Patient and Provider Perspectives on Smoking Cessation and Head and Neck Cancer – Khodadadi – – The Oncologist




Stopping smoking in patients with head and neck cancer continues to be a challenge despite evidence that stopping improves treatment outcomes. The aim of this study was to understand the barriers / facilitators to smoking cessation in head / neck cancer patients and health care providers and to gain insights towards the development of a smoking cessation intervention. patient-centered smoking cessation.

Materials and methods

In-depth qualitative interviews with ten healthcare providers and 21 head and neck cancer patients (12 inpatients and 9 outpatients) who were current or former smokers.


Health was a common motivation for quitting smoking among patients. Although most patients reported that their health care provider asked and advised them to quit smoking, they were unaware of the resources for quitting. Suggestions for a smoking cessation program included involvement of former smokers, involvement / counseling of health care providers, supporting written materials, and integration of aftercare and support family. Healthcare providers identified patient anger / frustration associated with illness, social / demographic issues, and poor quality of life as the three most common challenges in treating patients. While all providers said they asked about smoking, 70% pointed to a lack of formal smoking cessation training and lack of time. Their suggestions for an abandonment program included having a “quarterback” responsible for this component with the support of the entire health care team and continuity between outpatient and inpatient services to promote abandonment, prevent relapses and emphasize the importance of follow-up and social support.


There is a great interest and a great need on the part of patients and providers of smoking cessation services in oncology suitable for patients with head and neck cancer in the context of cancer care.

Implications for practice

Although the combination of pharmacotherapy and cognitive-behavioral intervention is the standard, evidence-based treatment for tobacco addiction, it must be tailored to meet the needs and wants of patients and providers in order to be effective. effective. This study provides an in-depth examination of these needs in head and neck cancer patients and providers in the context of cancer care. Providers and patients stressed the need to have a skilled healthcare provider dedicated to helping with smoking cessation through seamless integration between outpatient and inpatient services as well as follow-up with an emphasis on family involvement throughout the process.


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